Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin judiciary’

The upside of Gableman’s win

November 13, 2009

Despite the disappointing result of the Gableman fiasco, supporters of judicial reform have reason to be optimistic. Although Gableman and his right wing allies will undoubtedly claim victory, the judge comes out of this ordeal politically tarnished. Even the panel that ruled in his favor today chastised him for behavior unbecoming of a Supreme Court justice.

The press has been unanimous in its denouncement of his campaign’s lies misleading speech, but more importantly, it has also made clear that Gableman’s overt disdain for basic constitutional rights makes him fundamentally unqualified to be a judge.

So what? Gableman has another ten years to serve the interests who put him on the Court. Yes, but voters will remember him during other judicial contests. I predict that future Supreme Court races will be compared to the Gableman-Butler race, and that the media and the electorate will pay greater attention to the sleaze that defined Gableman’s victory.

Journal-Sentinel ed board: “A lie is a lie is a lie.”

Appleton Post Crescent:  Court Campaign Bill doesn’t go far enough.

Commission dismisses Gableman’s charges

November 12, 2009


“Therefore, we conclude that the facts alleged in the complaint do not constitute a violation of SCR 60.06(3)(c) for which discipline may be imposed. Accordingly, we recommend that Justice Gableman’s motion for summary judgment be granted and the Commission’s complaint be dismissed.”

The arguments in favor of dismissal were unanimous, although each member issued a strongly worded condemnation of Gableman’s campaign tactics.

The decision was based on the premise that the Judicial Code only “encourages” judges to avoid “misleading statements.” Therefore, because the individual statements in the ad were technically true, Gableman’s misconduct can only be frowned upon, not disciplined.

The best part:

“It is more than a bit ironic that Justice Gableman has been represented in this matter by an able lawyer who, it might be argued, found a loophole.

More discussion on this later.

Michael Gableman looking for a loophole…

July 9, 2009

Justice Michael Gableman is now making the case that the ethics complaint against him is a form of harassment. Sound familiar? I think we’ve heard similar stories up in Alaska. Hopefully this story will end the same way. And no, that does not mean Michael Gableman for president.

Illusory Tenant has been on Justice Michael Gableman’s case for awhile, and rightly points out that Gableman’s case before the Wisconsin Judicial Commission has been overlooked by the media.

“According to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, a teevee advertisement approved by Gableman during his 2008 election campaign “contains a false statement of fact that [Gableman] made intentionally or with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.”

The Judicial Commission found the ad “does extreme violence to the public’s confidence in the integrity of Wisconsin’s judicial system.”

This is an important test for Wisconsin’s judicial system, and it’s encouraging to see that our hyper-partisan judicial system, in which judges are politicians and not jurists, has some (albeit low) standards for judicial conduct. At issue of course is Gableman’s campaign in 2008, when he effectively labeled his opponent a friend of child molesters by accusing him of “finding loopholes” to set criminals free. Or worse…defending criminals back when he was a…defense attorney. Translation: he believes in the 5th amendment of the constitution. Nice to see somebody else notices the irony of Gableman, now a defendant himself, criticizing somebody for making decisions based on the law as a judge, as well as for following the rule of law when acting as an attorney:

Ironically, Gableman and his well heeled supporters had referred disparagingly to some provisions of the Constitution and other statutory protections as “loopholes” and “technicalities.”

But apparently they come in mighty handy once you find yourself the respondent in a disciplinary proceeding.

I’ve written about this issue way back when for the Herald. Gableman is one of the most embarassing figures in the state of Wisconsin. We all have to keep a closer eye on him.

My biggest hope was that Louis Butler would volunteer to be his defense attorney. Maybe then he could get a chance ignore any potential “loopholes” and let Michael Gableman get the justice he deserves.